Arts

The End Of An Era

Fans Say Goodbye to Naruto After 15 Years

By: Priscilla De Silva

What a long, long journey it has been since the first episode of “Naruto” aired back in September 2005 on Cartoon Network. Now, 720 episodes and 11 movies later, it is a bittersweet farewell as fans say goodbye to the series that changed the world of anime forever.

The series ended on March 23rd and while the rumors of the show’s ending were proven to be true, it could not have prepared you any more than if it had came as a complete surprise.

Naruto is an anime television series based on the manga volumes created by Masashi Kishimoto. First airing in 2002 in Japan, the show didn’t air in the United States until 2005.

It tells the story of a young orphaned boy who’s only dream was to become the village leader Hokage (ho-kah-gey).

As the series progressed to his teenage/young adult stage in the continuation, “Shippuden,” we watched as he went from the village menace to the person who saved the whole world from unparalleled evils.

Now it may sound like a cliche storyline: underdog proves himself to be useful in society; however, there is a unique relatableness to Naruto as well as all the characters that makes the viewers feel close to them. With its jam packed action scenes, heart-wrenching character deaths and crisp touches of humor, it is easy to see why people are so reluctant to let go.

Nostalgia was the theme of the last episode as it opened up with reflection of Naruto’s upbringing. After weeks upon weeks of the fillers that the show is notorious for, the audience finally got to witness the event that changed everything: Naruto’s wedding day.

Emotions were high as all the characters that were once young and immature, now coupled together and were moving on to the next stages of their lives.

Unfortunately, the very anticipated wedding scene was very brief as it only showed the very beginning of it, but it didn’t matter much because of what played next during the end credits.

In the finals seconds of the episode Naruto is seen handing off his ninja headband to his son, Boruto, in an attempt to promote for the new spin-off series called “Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. A show entirely based on the life of Naruto’s son as he becomes a shinobi in his father’s name.

The new spin-off aired on April 5th and it followed the story of the last Naruto movie named “Boruto” along with the manga volumes already published.

In the pilot episode Boruto is starting the ninja academy as his father once did, and while his stubbornness and charisma is similar to that of his father’s, the two couldn’t be anymore different. The age of technology threatens the way of the ninja and the new generation are having a hard time trying to juggle both worlds.

Boruto has no intention of being anything like his father and shows that he is ready to rebel against the village leader aka his father.

While the main focus will be predominately on the kids and how they adapt to a modernized world, we will get to watch Naruto tackle fatherhood while being the village leader. Farewell to the young, hot-headed Naruto Uzumaki that we all grew up with, but hello to Naruto the father!

The loyalty for “Naruto” for the past 15 years has been unwavering, however the question remains on whether that loyalty will remain for “Boruto.”

It is already known that Kishimoto is no longer the primary illustrator for the new series as seen in the “Boruto” movie released in 2015, and there are multiple plot holes that need to be filled in order for viewers to completely understand the transition from movie to show.

There are also rumors based off of the manga readings, that Naruto or Hinata are soon to meet an untimely death which is upsetting because Naruto just became hokage, but no one has been able to confirmed this for sure. With these doubts lingering, folks are having a hard time jumping on the bandwagon for this show.

Nevertheless, fans all over the world will be watching and waiting to see if Boruto will decide to carry the legacy of the ninja way forward, or will he rebuke the name that his father has worked so hard to build. Look out! There’s a new generation of ninja and they have some very big shoes to fill.

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